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Uninsured drivers adding €35 to every car policy in Ireland

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By John Healy of Healy Insurances

The number of uninsured cars on Irish roads continues to grow.

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The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) carried out new research that showed one in every 12 vehicles was driving without insurance in 2022.

According to MIBI, there are now more than 32,000 additional uninsured vehicles on Irish roads since 2020.

Under Irish law, the penalties for vehicles found without valid insurance include An Garda Síochána having the power to seize the vehicle on the spot, as well as other significant penalties such as an automatic court appearance, five penalty points and a substantial fine.

MIBI, a not for profit organisation established to compensate victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles, undertook this research by contrasting the number of private motor vehicle owners paying motor taxes with the number of vehicles who have active insurance policies.

“Law abiding motorists won’t be happy to see these figures and to look at the growing trend of uninsured driving," David Fitzgerald, CEO of the MIBI, said.

"If the current trend were to continue then we are likely to pass 200,000 uninsured vehicles in the next 12 – 18 months unless significant action is taken.”

So what can be done to tackle this issue?

Well the Irish Motor Insurance Database (IMID) is on the horizon for many years. The data should allow An Garda Síochána to identify uninsured drivers using their ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) device without having to leave their patrol car.

The legislation is still working its way through the Oireachtas.

According to MIBI, honest motorists are paying for the victims of people driving without insurance. It is estimated that approximately €35 of each motor insurance policy in the State is paying for uninsured drivers.
Granted the database is a huge piece of work, but it is long overdue at this stage.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch

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At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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